Fiind pentru prima oara cand se organizeaza Computex-ul in mod fizic dupa 4 ani de absenta, am profitat de ocazie pentru a sta de vorba cu o serie de oameni cu adevarat pasionati din industrie, la care cititorii nu au de obicei acces. Astfel, am inceput cu Andreas Rudnicki, CEO-ul si Fondatorul Alphacool International GmbH, alaturi de care am purtat o discutie legata de racire cu lichid, noile serii de produse Alphacool, precum si planurile acestora pentru viitor.
1 – Hi Andreas, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. First of all, congratulations. If I am not mistaking you guys are celebrating your 20th anniversary this year. How does it feel to be in this business for two decades?
The 20 years went by faster than you think. The market is hotly contested and there are new challenges every year. Not only with the products themselves, but also with the internal processes of the company. How to feel? Like riding a never-ending bicycle race. It’s torture to fight for first place but it’s also fun and gets the adrenaline pumping. It is, next to my family and my cycling, a big part of my life that brings me joy.
2 – What attracted you specifically to liquid cooling?
Like most people in my industry, I wanted a quiet and powerful cooling system to overclock my CPU and later my graphics card. And it was just fun to try new things and become a part of a new industry.
3 – After 20 years in the business and after the pandemic years, how do you see the business now? What are the challenges now, compared to when you started?
The market is constantly changing. New brands come and go. We have always held our own until now. The pandemic was rather a good time for us. Many have occupied themselves with their hobby PC. After the pandemic, the market slumped a bit. In our case, however, only very briefly. The sales figures are rising strongly again. The new challenges are now in the enterprise area. More and more server manufacturers and server suppliers see great advantages in the area of water cooling. The task now is to serve this market with sensible products.
4 – Do you think there is still room for an exponential growth in this market segment? Watercooling is becoming more and more popular – but is there still room for significant growth?
There are still growth opportunities in the end customer segment. Water cooling is a niche and will probably remain so. The AIO market is an exception. We still see great growth opportunities especially in AIOs for graphics cards. In the DIY area, the market is of course limited. In the enterprise sector, however, there are enormous growth opportunities.
5 – A little birdy told me you are preparing to launch a lot of new products this year, many of them in the Apex line. What are the key values that set Apex apart from other products?
Apex stands for several things. Extravagant design, new features and maximum performance. Apex is supposed to stand out from the Core series via various points. Apex is also in a higher class than Core in terms of haptics and technical features. The new case shows an extravagant design with real carbon tubes and also the new Apex fans will outclass everything on the market in terms of volume and performance.
6 – You are very well known for watercooling – do you have any plans to expand into other areas also? Like cases, or peripherals?
We are primarily a water cooling brand, so peripherals are not a target market for us. You can already see that we have become active in the case sector. Starting with the server cases that have been optimized for water cooling and the new carbon case presented at Computex. There will be more cases in the future. However, the core will always be that they are optimized for water cooling. Whether there will be other areas that we will tackle remains to be seen. One thing at a time.
7 – Could you tell us more about the Core line? What type of product will we see and where will they be positioned in the Alphacool line-up?
Core stands for core products that offer everything you really need. The new Core products will be somewhat cleaner and less extravagant in design than the Apex products and have fewer features on the technical side. With the Core series we also want to gradually say goodbye to all older products and show that we have started to rethink products. Basically, you can say it like this. With Core we have the standard products for everybody, with Apex the fancy high-end products for the total enthusiasts and with ES we serve the enterprise market.
8 – More and more people are beginning to be interested in watercooling. You offer a vast array of products and accessories, and also a very good GPU configurator tool. What other facilities do you offer for first time builders?
For beginners we offer a lot of help. Besides the elaborate instructions that explain the installation as accurately as possible, we have an excellent support that gladly provides assistance. In addition, there is the forum where you can ask all kinds of questions. The GPU configurator helps to find the right cooler more easily. With the launch of the new website we will gradually offer more help. A How-To, various explanations and much more. But it will take some time until we have created all the content. There is a lot going on in the background at Alphacool that customers will only really see in the next 1-2 years.
9 – If you would be able to give an advice to a person who is building his first watercooling custom loop, what would it be?
You need patience to build a water cooling system. You should also not panic, there is no reason for that. And also very important, you should not believe everything that people say in forums or on YouTube. Unfortunately, there are many who tell nonsense that goes so far that customers with defective products end up at our support because they have seen and tried something on TikTok or elsewhere. If they had asked us before, there would never have been a problem.
10 – Thank you very much for your time!
Thank you and good luck.